The Alberta government is pushing back on the federal 'assault-style' firearms ban issued in May, 2020.
Alberta's chief firearms officer, Teri Bryant sent a three-page letter to the federal minister of public safety on April 14 asking to cancel the ban outright.
"...effective immediately I call on you to cancel the Order in Council prohibitions of May 1, 2020, outright. You should instead consider introducing a package of measures involving targeted spending to improve tracking and prosecution of actual offenders rather than honest citizens."
The firearms ban was initially brought forth by the federal government in May of 2020 in reaction to the tragic shooting in Nova Scotia by a person in April of that year that left 23 people dead, including the shooter.
Bryant also states in the letter: "Law-abiding participants in shooting sports, many of whom have invested substantial sums in their specialized equipment, including dedicated accessories and custom gunsmithing, have been devastated by the inability to pursue their passions as their property is frozen in place. Owners of historical artifacts covered by these requirements, for many of whom the items have significant sentimental as well as historical value, will be shaken to see their treasured property seized or desecrated through deactivation."
Currently in Canada, there are over 100,000 restricted firearms among the models that are now restricted.
Under the original federal order there was an amnesty for firearms owners until April 30, 2022, but it was recently extended to October 2023.
Click here to read the three-page letter sent by Alberta's newly created Chief Firearms Officer.
Some of Bryant's recommendations in the letter include:
- Cancel the 2020 firearms prohibitions.
- Improve identification, tracking and prosecution of firearms traffickers, straw purchasers and others who use firearms in the commission of an offence.
- Improve social programming initiatives to address criminal behaviour and addictions issues.
- Provide provinces with the option to opt-out of the firearms prohibition and instead use the funding to create alternative effective solutions developed at the local level.
- Increase staffing for law enforcement agencies and enhance communication capabilities between agencies.
Click here for a list of the firearms that fall under the ban.
The chief firearms officer position was created by the Alberta government in August of 2021.